Staying in the present is something we hear all the time from commentators when watching the best players in the world on TV! We’re told that if we stay in the present we have our best chances of playing at our best when we are on the golf course and under pressure and it is the secret to the mind game. There are other phrases we use for this, ‘staying in the moment’ or ‘in the zone’ spring to mind. Whatever we want to call it is crucial to find a way of being able to control your state of mind.
So what exactly is staying in the present and why is it such a great idea to strive to achieve it and then how do we achieve it?
Lets start with what staying in the present means. Well there is no secret it is exactly what it says it is, the ability to focus your mind in the present, not shift your focus to the past or the future.
So why is it a good idea to stay in the present? Well think of this, we move towards what we focus on. So if we’re focusing on the job that we want to do we have more chance of moving towards our objective. If we focus on something we have done in the past or something to far in the future we will more likely head towards that and generally this doesn’t allow us to focus on the job at hand.
So many times we will see people focus on the past, out of the list below see how many of these past thoughts would be helpful to you in a pressure situation.
As you can see none of these would be helpful, if you where to focus on the fact the last time you played this hole you sliced it into the water what do you think you would have a good chance of doing this time around? Its amazing how many people focus on these things.
Thinking to much into the future can also shift your focus, imagine if you where standing on the last hole and you needed a par for your best ever score and lets say for arguments sake I was your caddy and I where to tell you a par would give you your best ever score! More than likely I would get the sack as I have just heaped a load of pressure on you! Now most of us aren’t fortunate to have a caddy so we have to be our own caddy, so again next time you start thinking too much ahead imagine what you would want the best caddie in the world to say to you.
So hopefully you can see that staying in the present seems like a good idea, but it is easier said than done! How can we stop those demons coming into your head? Well the best way is by having a solid Pre Shot Routine. Imagine you are in the before mentioned scenario of needing a par to give you your best ever score and see if the process below seems like a good idea.
Pre Shot Routine –
A good pre shot can easily be practiced and once honed will help you stay in the present on the golf course. Don’t forget the word present also means ‘gift’ use your gift and focus on the shots you want to play one at a time.